1. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: Your cadence and flows — you move around, you go in between a rhythm, so that’s why I was curious about your approach in putting together songs. But, speaking of merging genres — cause that’s how I take it — how important is that as, you know, coming from representing Atlanta hip-hop, and putting a stamp on it but then moving beyond that label.

    ANDRE 3000: I think — here’s my thing about representing a place: The best way to represent the places where you from is be yourself, completely. And just say, “I’m from this place.” It doesn’t mean I have to cater to that place, you know, cause my thing is taking the city on its back and going beyond. It’s not staying in — just in — the city sound. My thing is just pushing it as much as I can cause that’s how — that’s what gets me off. That’s what I do.

    But when you listen to Atlanta music now, you listen to trap music — we didn’t necessarily come from that, but I love that kind of music. It’s funny people say outkast has this Atlanta, Southern sound. I honestly don’t think we ever had an Atlanta sound. I think our accents were from the South. People knew we were from the South. But I can’t say that we just had a Atlanta sound, you know what I mean? I think ours was just all over the place. It was kinda like a hodge-podge of whatever we were into.

    OutKast’s Andre 3000 on Microphone Check 

  2. If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: The Stories Of The Notorious B.I.G.

    Photos: Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

  3. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: I mean, you know you carry New York. I don’t know if you know it, but to me, you’re of that KRS ilk. And there’s not a lot of that. And where we are now, 2014 and moving forward — everything that you’ve done is great, but with where you are now, with the passion for the studio —

    JOELL ORTIZ: I gotta — cause this is a moment. This feels crazy. I’d love to. I’d love to continue to make good music. I’d love to do 150 more Joell Ortiz albums. You can’t promise it.

    Joell Ortiz on Microphone Check 

  4. This is The Mountain Goats’ johndarnielle on nprfreshair talking about his novel Wolf in White Van, self destruction, The Incredible Hulk, and, of course, heavy metal

  5. Nick Cave is the subject of a different kind of rock documentary called 20,000 Days on Earth, which attempts to debunk the creative process for what it actually is: “It is just hard labor.”

  6. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: You have to listen to it from beginning to end. You can’t — you cannot dissect one part of it. If you do, then you just – you’re in the wrong neighborhood.

    TAJAI: … Like the music that’s on our record, jazz guys are gonna listen to it and be like, “I need to get me one of those.” Or funk guys are gonna be like, “Oooh, that was funky!” Like it’s not just the hip-hop record in that case, and so maybe that’s kind of what gives us our against the grain thing — is that we’re not going out to set a precedent for best rap record. We’re trying to make records like Innervisions orSuperfly or something like that and we just happen to be MCs.

    Souls of Mischief on Microphone Check

  7. The new book The History of Rock N Roll in Ten Songs is missing everything you would expect.

    Photo: Rob Verhorst/Redferns

  8. Relationships are complicated, and as Cary Ann Hearst says of her marriage and Shovels & Rope musical partner Michael Trent, “It’s a strange thing to be held accountable as part of the musical act.”

    Photo: Molly Hayes

  9. LISTEN: Fuzz-rock mastermind Ty Segall spins a few of his favorite records on All Songs Considered and explains how he changed everything to make his new album Manipulator.

  10. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: So to expand the scope outside of Flatbush into the New York culture and lifestyle — how does that shape you guys? Because your lyrics are beyond the universe.

    ISSA: Yeah, I’m happy you said that, cause that was gonna be my answer to it. I feel like that goes back to what I was saying about New York and Brooklyn and Flatbush being at our root because I don’t really make music to try and revive New York. I find we get thrown into that. And it’s awesome that we get thrown into that, but it’s like, I have a universal perspective. I’m trying to make music for the universe. I mean — that sounded weird.

    The Underachievers on Microphone Check